Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Monday, July 5, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 11

Roots Farm CSA
Week 11: July 6 & 9
This Week:

-Corn!: Kandy Korn
-Melons!: Sun Jewel Asian & Honey Yellow Honeydew
-Blackberries or Blueberries
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Magda, Jackpot Zucchini, Soleil Zucchini, Trombicino
-Cucumbers: Suhyo Long, Mid-East Prolific, & Lemon
-Eggplant: Hansel (purple), Gretel (white), Fairytale (streaked), & Pingtung Long (lavender)
-Tomatoes: Big Beef Slicers, Juliet Romas, Golden Rave Roma, Black Cherries
-Peppers!: Islander
-Herbs: Basil (Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple) & Parsley

On the Farm . . .
We’ve been enjoying the cooler weather this last week brought us. Summer is rolling right on along with the second round of corn coming in. Melons and berries are still in abundance. And the squash and cukes continue to flow. The beans are taking their sweet time. The okra is almost 4 feet tall and looking like it might want to flower. Summery veggies, now is the time!

Weekend Workday -- This Saturday!
Come on out and join us for a nice morning on the farm. From 8am-noon, we’ll be out there weeding, trellising, harvesting, and processing. Then we’ll seek some shade to process some more -- garlic, here we come! We could use your help, so come out and enjoy the farm with us. See you here!

This is round number two and our final installation of corn, so savor the flavor while it lasts. And if you just didn’t get enough in your share, we’ll have more at the farmers market on Saturday, so you can get the rest of your fix there . . . Also, please remember that there will probably be corn ear worms munching away at the top tip of your corn and this is no reason to panic. These little buggers are ever-present in organic cornfields and can be easily handled by you, the saavy consumer, with your sharp knife and willingness to cut away the already eaten parts. I recommend eating your corn the night you get it since it’s at it’s sweetest when it is it’s freshest. Those sugars begin converting to starches for energy storage pretty quickly, so don’t delay--devour your corn ASAP for maximum sweetness!

Summer Squash
I’m happy to report that they continue to flow in. Our first 4 plantings have died and gone to compost heaven, but there’s still 3 more out there, one of which just began to produce and one of which hasn’t even started flowering yet. There’s hope to be had that summer will provide squash for a while yet still. The trombicino has been a strong producer this year and we hope you’re enjoying it despite it’s unfamiliarity. It seems more disease resistant and longer-lived than some of our other varieties, and that’s a valuable asset here in the Southeast. Thanks go to our fellow Athens farmers for telling us it was a good idea. We hope you feel the same.

Since the squash keeps flowing in, I figured you might like a few new ideas as to what to do with it. So this week I’m putting squash in the spotlight. Here we go . . . STORAGE: farm-fresh summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible. Store them in a sealed plastic container that you’ve lined with a kitchen towel and they’ll keep for about a week and a half. USAGE: well, summer squash is quite versatile. Use young to medium sized squashed in stir-fries, soups, stews, on the grill, roasted, grated raw into salads and dips, battered and fried, steamed or sauteed, in tomato sauces, with pasta, and much more! The large ones can be stuffed or peeled, seeded, and grated/cubed and used for relishes, salsas, or sweet treats like zucchini breads and cakes, and more. Here are some ideas for you . . .

Summer Squash & Bulgur Salad
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup bulgur
4 small or 2 medium summer squashi, finely diced
1 bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
1/2 red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice (~1 lime)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, then add the bulgur. Leave uncovered; cook the bulgur for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and set aside until the bulgur has absorbed the rest of the water, about 15 minutes. Fluff the cooked bulgur with a fork until the grains are well separated; transfer to a large bowl. Add the squash, bell pepper, and onion. Toss until well combined. Whisk the dill, parsley, olive oil, and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the bulgur and toss until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving. Serve at room temperature. Makes 6 servings. From Farmer John’s Cookbook, which also states, “this is an interesting and delicious variation on the Middle Eastern bulgur-and-parsley salad known as tabbouleh. Bulgur, which si simply cracked wheat, has a nutty taste and satisfying, chewy texture similar to borwn rice, but it is finer and lighter, which makes it perfect for a summery salad. This dish is wonderfully refreshing and very simple to make.” Enjoy!

Chilled Zucchini & Avocado Soup
4 small or 2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
2 avocados, peeled, pits removed, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 cup plain yogurt
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Put the zucchini, avocado, scallions, garlic, chili powder, and coriander seeds into a food processor; process until smoothly combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl; stir in the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste; garnish with cilantro. Makes 2-4 servings. From Farmer John’s Cookbook. They write, “Pureed avocado combined with the unique silky texture of pureed raw zucchini makes for a soup so smooth it defies description. Freshly ground whole coriander seeds give this soup a slightly exotic citrus aroma. You can crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle or use the back of a sturdy spoon to grind them in the bottom of a shallow bowl. This makes a perfect, refreshing dinner on one of those sweltering summer days when the idea of eating anything hot seems absurd.”

Creamy Zucchini-Cumin Dip
4 small or 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper

Place zucchini in a medium bowl; add the salt and mix well. Transfer to a colander and set int eh sink to drain for at least 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the sour cream, onion, lime juice, and cumin in a large serving bowl; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and paprika to taste. Squeeze as much moisture as you can from the zucchini with your hands; add the zucchini to the sour cream mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve cold or at room temperature. This works great as an all-purpose party dip--double it if you’re making it for a party. Or use it as a stylish garnish for tacos or chili. Makes about 2 cups. From Farmer John’s Cookbook.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins/Cake
3/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each cinnamon & cloves
2 1/2 cups flour
small bag of chocolate or carob chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease muffin pans or a 9x13 inch pan. Mix wet ingredients; in a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients except for chocolate/carob chips. Add wet to dry and stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pan(s). Bake for 30-35 minutes. Makes 24 muffins or one cake. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook. These are really delightful. They make beautiful, delicious muffins. Try them plain or with a cream cheese frosting. Delicious!

Mock Apple Cobbler
Filling ingredients:
3 lbs peeled, seeded, and chopped summer squash (~8 cups)
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Crust ingredients:
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine squash and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; simmer 1 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl; cut in butter with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup of the crust mixture into zucchini mixture. Press half the remaining crust mixture into pan. Spread squash mixture over it, then crumble remaining crust mixture over squash. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until golden and bubbly, 35-40 minutes. Makes 12+ servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook. I’ve made this and it’s actually pretty good. Folks couldn’t tell it was made of squash and not apples. Tasty.

And if that isn’t enough for your recipe-wise, click here for lots more squash-eating ideas.

1 comment:

Michelle H said...

Mini eggplants are the best. This is my favorite recipe (from "The Heart of Zen Cuisine"):

"Nasu no Ohitashi (Simmered Eggplant with Ginger Sauce)

Serves 4
4 4-inch eggplants, caps removed, cut in half lengthwise (note: Do not salt or soak)
1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium size saucepan over high heat. Add eggplant halves, cut side up, & reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered, until just cooked (~5 minutes), turning eggplant after 3 minutes. Flesh should be soft but not mushy.

Drain, skin side up. Press gently to squeeze out excess water.

When cool enough to handle, gently cut each half lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. Mix ginger & soy sauce. Top eggplant with sauce. best if eaten hot.

*Being impatient, I often skip several of these steps and just slice it to begin with, then saute and top with sauce at the end of cooking.